School of the Laity Brochure
(classes start June 9!)
Upcoming Class Dates
October 7-8, 2017, March 10-11, 2018
Courses Offered October 7-8, 2017
October 6 – 8, 2017
Old Testament Prophets
Class Description & Registration
Dr. Brennan Breed, Assistant Professor of Old Testament
Columbia Theological Seminary
This 18-hour course will examine the prophetic literature of the Old Testament in light of the historical and cultural contexts of the ancient Near East. Participants will discover the rich world of divination practices of the ancient Near East, from which Israel’s distinctive tradition of prophecy emerged, and engage in detailed study of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve (otherwise known as the “minor prophets.”) Class discussion will highlight the theological content and character of these texts, consider their use in the New Testament, and reflect on their appropriation in contemporary settings.
History of the
School of the Laity program
From left, Class of 2016, Graduates Katie Hogan, Tom Marsicano, Elaine Ricks and Eddie Jones, classmate Judy Walker will graduate in the spring of 2017.
In the fall of 1988, ten laypeople of Savannah Presbytery became the first graduating class of an innovative presbytery ministry know as the School of the Laity. A very demanding program of study requiring a two-year commitment and additional hours of class and preparation time, the School of the Laity was a vision of then Executive Presbyter Dr. J. Richard Bass, who saw the desire of laypersons to engage in serious study of scripture, theology, and ministry.
The students participate in two summer courses taught by college professors. Each session involves eighteen hours of class time and additional hours of personal study. The courses are: Introduction to the Bible and Introduction to Reformed Theology. In the final summer, they complete their studies with an in-depth course in Practical Ministry.
Students complete briefer courses in the spring and fall of two successive years. Savannah Presbytery ministers lead studies on Old Testament, New Testament, History, Mission & Polity and Practical Ministry 1.
To date over 250 laypeople have participated in the School of the Laity, representing two-thirds of the churches of the presbytery. Its graduates are providing outstanding leadership in their congregations, the presbytery and the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.